IACA Journal Fall 2015 - page 2

IACA Journal
Page 2
IACA P
RESIDENT
S
M
ESSAGE
PASS IT ON!
We are aging. And our indus-
try is aging. Yes, American
Indian art is aging—and evolv-
ing. Have you helped preserve
the traditional methods? Have
you taught someone younger
how to create what you create?
Will they be able to teach their
children?
Each generation of artists helps
to evolve their art, and this
includes Indian artists. How
did you learn your art form?
Did you go to art school? May-
be not. Did you take a class?
Could be. Mostly you learned
from someone else who might
be called a mentor nowadays.
If you are a potter, a painter, a
metalsmith or any other kind of
artist, have you seen how your
numbers are diminishing?
There are fewer of you to pass
on your craft! The modern kid
may seem to have his head
somewhere else but maybe that
kid would like to know what
you do and how you do it.
Maybe he or she would like to
watch and learn.
You
have
skills and talent to pass on!
As a Native American who
lives his art,
pass it on
to a
younger person. That might
well become his passion just
like it is yours. And ours.
Jacque Foutz
In 2000, 35 million Americans were 65 and older -- a
12% increase from 1990. Almost half of these were
over 75 years old. By 2050 83.7 million Americans
will be over 65, according to a report from the U.S.
census bureau.
You may ask, “What does that have to do with
American Indian art?” Plenty.
As household size shrinks, vast numbers of Ameri-
can Indian art collections are finding their way to the
marketplace by seniors wishing to cash in their col-
lections.
Many IACA retail members report that they enter-
tain as many requests from people wanting to sell their
collections as they do entertaining inquiries about buying
a new piece.
Today’s artists will feel increased competition from the
influx of great work from the past that is beginning to
flood the marketplace. Many savvy retailers are making
adjustments by consigning a large quantity of the recy-
cled collections, thus cutting into purchases of art from
today’s artists.
This new competition is exacerbated by the decline in the
numbers of people under 45 years old that are participat-
ing in the American Indian art market. (See chart at right
for the Quantcast demographic profile of the American
Indian art collector vs. the U.S. Population.) The Ameri-
can Indian art market tends to be more female, much
older, no children present in the household, and very
upper income.
This represents a great challenge for everyone in the
American Indian art industry. Artists, wholesalers and
retailers that adapt to the new realities of the American Indian art market will survive. Those preferring
“business as usual” will face very difficult times indeed.
IACA T
O
F
IELD
2016 S
URVEY OF THE
I
NDIAN
A
RT
M
ARKET
In 2011, IACA launched one of the most ambitious surveys in the American Indian art industry.
Designed as a benefit for all IACA members, the survey measures many aspects of the business from the
perspectives of the artist, the wholesaler and the retailer. It has become a useful learning tool for many
members as it allows them to compare and contrast their own business to the businesses of their peers
and perhaps to make productive adjustments to their own business practices.
In January, 2016, the sixth survey will be sent to IACA members and others in the industry. Non-IACA
members are included in the survey in order to get the largest possible sample for producing significant
and meaningful results.
A comprehensive report, including trends, will be available by industry sector in early February, 2016.
The full report will be available exclusively to IACA members. The five previous market surveys are
available exclusively to IACA members on the IACA website,
Members Only
area.
)
T
HE
G
RAY
M
ARKET
: N
EW
C
OMPETITON
FOR THE
A
MERICAN
I
NDIAN
A
RT
D
OLLAR
Indian Art Market vs. U.S. Population
1 3,4
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